Saskin 'fall tour' touted

Ted Saskin, senior director of the NHLPA, makes a comment during a news conference yesterday in...

Ted Saskin, senior director of the NHLPA, makes a comment during a news conference yesterday in Toronto. (SUN/Greg Henkenhaf)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:27 PM ET

DETROIT -- Chris Chelios did not freak out on Ted Saskin.

There were no ugly food fights, no fisticuffs, no accusations hurled.

In fact, Chelios admits the meeting between Saskin and the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena Thursday was quite informative.

So what took so long, the outspoken veteran wants to know?

And why has Saskin not held similar meetings with the other 29 NHL teams in order to educate players on the state of the union -- in this case, the NHL players' union?

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"Have a fall tour," Chelios said yesterday. "It seems so simple. I wish Ted would have done this and then let the executive committee and the player reps get a feel for what the players want."

Saskin came to Detroit at the request of the Wings after an informal team vote determined that more information was required from the union head.

"I think the consensus around the league is that guys need to talk to Ted and get some questions answered," Chelios said.

"There have been some bad decisions made by the executive committee, that's for sure. That's why we had to go back and re-vote and try to get everything in order. I don't think this is too late to get everything in order and make this a non-issue."

Chelios is among the more high-profile players attached to a charge filed earlier this week with the National Labor Relations Board in the U.S. alleging "illegal activities" by Saskin and association president Trevor Linden.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the document was forwarded, Chelios insisted the issue is not about whether Saskin is the right man to lead the union.

The problem, he said, was that the PA's general membership was not consulted during Saskin's hiring or the awarding of a contract extension, an alleged breach of the union's constitution. For some reason, Linden and the executive committee wanted to quickly push those moves through rather than consulting with the rank and file.

"It's about the players, not about Ted being hired or the extension," Chelios said. "No one had the opportunity coming into camp to be informed of anything.

"Guys come into camp without having their e-mails or printers or faxes. They had no sources of communication with the (PA).

"There are a lot of things we don't understand but it'll get sorted out. It's in the hands of the courts, the board, whatever, so at least the players don't have to worry about it."


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